Car sales on decline in Russia

Moscow, Sep 9 (IANS) Sales of new passenger cars and light commercial vehicles (LCVs) in Russia have been on decline since the start of the year, said a report from Association of European Businesses (AEB), an industry guild.

According to the AEB, which groups more than 600 companies in Europe and Russia, more than 1 million cars were sold in the first eight months of the year, 33.5 percent down from the same period last year.

In August alone, Russia saw a drop of 19.4 percent in sales of new cars and LCVs in comparison with the same period last year, reports Xinhua.

“The pace of year-on-year sales decline slowed down further in August, suggesting the market is moving closer to finding some sort of equilibrium at a new, lower level,” said Joerg Schreiber, chairman of the AEB Automobile Manufacturers Committee.

“Currency fluctuations still have an enormous impact on day-to- day consumer behavior and demand for high-value goods like cars,” Tass news agency quoted Schreiber as saying.

He predicted that latest sharp drop in the value of Russian ruble would lead to the “roller coaster” of car sales.

The exchange rate of rubble to the US dollar is falling beyond 65 and the rate of ruble to euro falls beyond 75, while the Russian currency only plummeted once at the end of last year.

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